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Monday, December 20, 2010

Turkey Sloppy Joes

When looking for recipes for this week, I came across this one for Sloppy Joes that originally appeared in Country Living. For some reason, Sloppy Joes struck me as a nice casual meal for a cold winter's night. I decided to use ground turkey, but you can always substitute with ground beef or even soy crumbles.

Sloppy Joes

1 lbs ground turkey
1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 can (6-oz) tomato paste
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
3/4 can (14.5 oz) low-sodium chicken stock
1/3 cup ketchup
1/4 Worcestershire sauce
4 whole wheat hamburger buns

1. Brown the meat in a large skillet over medium high heat. Remove the meat and set aside, then drain all but 1 tbsp of the fat.

2. Add the onion and garlic, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until the onion is soft, about 6 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 more minutes. Stir in the chili powder, mustard, paprika, salt and ginger and cook for 1 minute more. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.

3. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes. Serve on whole-wheat hamburger buns.

The Verdict: While delicious, it seemed like an awful lot of work for what amounts to be a sandwich.

The taste is infinitely better than the Sloppy Joe you can make from a can, or remembering back to my school days, what they serve you in an American high school cafeteria. The mix of spices is great in this recipe, with a hint of sweetness. The original recipe actually called for 2 pounds of meat, but not wanting to have Sloppy Joe leftovers all week, I halved it. I'm not sure if it was the halving or if the recipe was wrong, however, left as it was the meat would have been very dry with very little spice taste. If you're looking for yours to be, well, less sloppy, use only a half can of stock.

As I mentioned above, the time it took me to make this was a little too long for something this casual. I suppose if it were my family's favorite, I wouldn't mind spending the time. So be in the mood to eat this, otherwise, you're spending a good 30 to 45-minutes over the stove for a mediocre meal.

I served our sandwiches with pre-packaged sweet potato fries and homemade pickles. I was going to include the pickle recipe, but decided against it as we found them too strong. I usually use Japanese rice wine vinegar when pickling my own cucumbers; this time I used cider vinegar. One too vinegar-y bite nearly choked my husband, so I'll leave this recipe out to protect your health. A good pickle, i.e. one that won't knock you on the floor with it's potency, would be a good accompaniment to this dish.

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